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INSPIRE #247: Don’t Worry – Be Grumpy!

Ajahn Brahm, Buddhist Monk, Shares The Secrets to Being Grumpy, Being Happy & Finding More Enjoyment, Self-Esteem & Compassion, Especially for Ourselves!

Listen to the podcast below!




If you’ve ever wanted to be grumpy, unhappy, dis-satisfied, or at dis-ease with the world around you, then do we have the show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with the Buddhist Monk Ajahn Brahm, abbot of the Budhininyana Monastery in Sperentine Western Austalia, the spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, a spiritual adviser to numerous Buddhist societys and is the author of numerous books including Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator’s Handbook, and a new fun favorite of mine, Don’t Worry, Be Grumpy: Inspiring Stories for Making the Most of Each Moment.

And that’s what we’ll be talking about today, about what it takes to be grumpy, dis-satisfied, and dis-ease with life, noise, and the world around and inside of us.

That plus we’ll talk about 50 strokes of the cat, the pushup routine, the 70% rule, Selling encyclopedias, a safe heaven for spiders, and why it’s so important to let go of the banana.

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Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (known to most as Ajahn Brahm) was born Peter Betts in London, United Kingdom in August 7, 1951. He came from a working-class background, and won a scholarship to study Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University in the late 1960s. At Cambridge he joined the university’s Buddhist Society and after a few weeks at the age of 18, he saw a monk for the first time. He knew then that was what he wanted to be. After graduating from Cambridge he taught in a school for one year before travelling to Thailand to become a monk and train with the Venerable Ajahn Chah Bodhinyana Mahathera.

Whilst still in his years as a junior monk, he was asked to undertake the compilation of an English-language guide to the Buddhist monastic code – the Vinaya – which later became the basis for monastic discipline in many Theravadan monasteries in Western countries.

After practising for nine years as a monk, he was sent to Perth by Ajahn Chah in 1983

Currently Ajahn Brahm is the Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, in Serpentine, Western Australia, the Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Spiritual Adviser to the Buddhist Society of Victoria, Spiritual Adviser to the Buddhist Society of South Australia, Spiritual Patron of the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore, and is currently working with monks and nuns of all Buddhist traditions to establish the Australian Sangha Association.

In October 2004, Ajahn Brahm was awarded the John Curtin Medal for his vision, leadership and service to the Australian community by Curtin University.

Ajahn Brahm has also written several books including Opening the Door of Your Heart (formerly published as ‘Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?’) and Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond: A Meditator’s Handbook. Hundreds of Ajahn Brahm’s Dhamma talks are now available for free download in both digital audio and video format. These are downloaded millions of times a year and it’s now true to say that barely a second passes when there isn’t someone, somewhere in the world downloading and listening to a Dhamma talk by Ajahn Brahm.

Ajahn Brahm has also been influential in establishing Dhammasara Nuns’ Monastery at Gidgegannup in the hills north-east of Perth to be a wholly independent monastery for nuns, In October 2009 he was instrumental in facilitating Bhikkhuni ordinations at this monastery. The selfless action of providing an authentic pathway for women to lead the Holy Life led to a reaction from fundamentalist monks within his original training Sangha who ‘excommunicated’ him. Large parts of the the international Buddhist community have since rallied and campaigned in support of him. Ajahn Brahm continues to champion Gender Equality.


Ajahn Brahm Online: Website | YouTube

Key Topics:

  • Why you never want to do today what you can put off till tomorrow
  • Why life is not doing stuff, but stopping doing stuff
  • How he went from a theoretical physics degree to becoming a monk
  • What physics and Buddhism have in common
  • What’s the Buddhist monk method for peeling bananas, and how it brings you happiness.
  • What is the s**t of life and why it’s so good for us.
  • How to transform the s**t in life to set us free
  • How to move past a culture of blame and punishment
  • Why we should welcome mistakes
  • Why punishment requires 50 strokes of the cat
  • Why kindness is the antidote to guilt and needing punishment
  • Control freak vs. “kindfulness” freak
  • Why we need to give compassion to ourselves
  • How to thrive through your challenges
  • Why you should demand your right to be grumpy
  • Why you can be happy being grump
  • Why you don’t want to suppress your negative emotions.
  • Why you don’t want to label anyone with anything, like schizophrenia
  • How to improve our self-esteem
  • Why we’re suspicious of praise and how to improve our self-worth
  • How do we put down our burdens (for greater happiness)
  • How important is meditation
  • How to come from life, rather than fantasizing
  • Why he’s not fat, but simply growing in kindness and compassion
  • Why fat and happy is better than skinny and anxious
  • How laughter helps protect your heart
  • Google Brahm to find him…
  • Be sure to check out his Google Talks Video.

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #156″ Why Letting Go May Be the Best Thing You Could Ever Do! (CJ Liu, Fire It Up with CJ)


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